Public Release: 

Cardiac surgery for patients with persistent opioid use associated with higher rate of complications, increased costs

JAMA Network

Bottom Line: Persistent use of opioids by patients is a public health concern in the United States but not much is known about the effect of that use on patients undergoing cardiac surgery. This observational study included 5.7 million patients who underwent cardiac surgery and it compared outcomes among those with persistent opioid use or dependence and those patients without. Researchers report no significant difference in the rate of death between the two groups of patients, although patients with persistent opioid use or dependence had a higher number of complications overall, longer length of hospital stay and higher costs. Limitations of the study include the possibility that opioid overuse disorders were underreported and that the definitions of opioid dependence or persistent opioid use weren't consistent between hospitals.

Authors: Edward G. Soltesz, M.D., M.P.H., Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, and coauthors

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.4608)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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